Friday, June 20, 2008

The Best Summer Cocktails -- Part I

The search for the best summer cocktails is on. What are they and where to find them? Earlier this week, newsgoddess Kate Shepherd and I set out to see what downtown bars could put their money where their liquor was. We saved a few popular spots for Part II (including venerable favorite Palomino). Look for them in the next few weeks!

First Place -- The Stoli Doli at Capital Grille. I was a little skeptical. Isn't pineapple infused vodka so Sullivan's five years ago? But at Kate's recommendation, we stopped in to give this perfect summer cocktail a try. Light, fruity, just sweet enough, and served straight up in a martini glass, this one was a winner. (Kate's comment: "sneaks up on you." More than one or two will make you "tipsy beyond belief.") $11.95.

Runners Up: There's a fine line between a summer cocktail and a fruity martini list, but most of these sweet treats fall firmly on the summer cocktail end of the spectrum.

Arnold Swartzenegger: McCormick and Schmick's take on the Arnold Palmer but with Ruby Red Absolute, Level 1 vodka and fresh squeezed orange juice, $7.50. Kate: "nice blend of lemon and sweet" RW: "all fresh squeezed. Love the grapefruit."

Basil Grape Refresher: Also from McCormick and Schmick with muddled basil, white grapes, vodka, lime, and ginger ale, $7.00 This one has potential if you like herb infused drinks. RW: "Gingerale makes this super sweet, maybe too sweet" Kate: "A bit too herb-y for me. Refreshing but way too much basil."

Worth A Try:

White Mango (left) and Citrus Mango Heat with a jalapeno garnish

Citrus Mango Heat (McCormick and Schmick) with jalapenos and soda, but not sweet or mango-y. Lots of pepper heat/kick, $8.50."Light, refreshing with a kick, pepper cuts the alcohol" "If you're looking for mango drink, keep looking." "soda fizz and slight heat of the pepper are really unique"

Lemoncello Sangria (Weber Grill). Tempted by rumors of their sangria, we decided to give this white sangria with lemoncello a try, $7.50. "good zesty blend of lemon and wine"

Mojito (Capitol Grille), $12.00. The bartender said they had one so we thought we'd give it a try. It strange. Good, topped up with Mumm, but strange. "Not for the traditionalist" "Would be good on a hot day" "Lime, mint, and champagne, good but odd."

Pomegranate Mandarin Sangria (Weber Grill) Anyone order a Kool-Aid? This super-sweet red sangria was too cheesy for me. The cruncy diced apples on top were nice, though. $7.50

White Mango (McCormick and Schmick) This super sweet cocktail seemed like basic mango puree and vodka. Too sweet and sticky, even for summer. $8.50


Anonymous said...

did you try all those in the same night??!!

braingirl said...

We tried them all -- didn't necessarily finish them all :-)